Sunday 10 February 2019

Strong road build using tension meter from Filip Kralyevski

This week I had a pleasure to build a very nice and strong wheel set using exceptional tension meter made by Filip Kralyevski.

First, about the build itself.

All rounder road wheels made for 90kg rider. Super strong set built from my favourite elements:
- Kinlin XR31T rims in 24/28h drilling
- Bullet proof Miche Primato Syntesi hubs
- Sapim D-light spokes
- Brass nipples

Maybe not for weight weenies but definitely for riders who are looking for strong and reliable wheels which won't fail despite of road quality or weather conditions. 

Kinlin XR31T are one of the few rims on the market with semi-aero profile measuring 31mm. Perfect choice for people not willing yet to pull the trigger on the carbon rims but wanting to feel a bit of nice rolling buzz during the flat rides in the group or alone.

One potential drawback of those rims is the joint, however in all my builds I'm smoothing it out so you won't feel any pulsing during the braking.

In terms of the hubs, as mentioned before they will roll forever. They have really good bearings including sealing, strong axle and one of the best geometry in the market. 

They are very quiet, so if you're the "sneaking type" of roadie those could be for you.
The price point 149CHF / set including quick releases makes them really attractive choice.

D-light spokes measuring 1.65mm are good alternative for aero spokes. They are half price of cx-ray/sprint so allowing to drop the total price of the wheels. In terms of performance they have about 10% more wind drag and are about 0.5g heavier comparing to aero spoke. Choosing such spokes you should trust your wheel builder as they cannot be shorten on spoke cutter. Proper calculation of rim ERD and THEN defining precise spoke length is a key here.

For all wheels I'm giving a two layers of tubeless tape so wheels can be used with standard inner tube or tubeless set.

A valve hole is also made so no worries :-)

Wheels come with spare spokes, nipples and Miche quick releases. The total price is 489CHF so very fair for Swiss made product. 

Now, talking about my new tension meter...

In all my wheel building work, especially recently, when I had various opportunities to calibrate tension meters of the others using my tension meter calibration jig I came to the point where I decided to get a digital meter. The analog meters, even the high-end ones are precise, however very often you need to take 2-3 readings to ensure it's consistent. It comes from the fact of the meter construction itself (spoke path, fixed bolts instead of rollers), the spring which wears out and the accuracy & speed of the analog indicator.

With the digital meter, especially one made by Filip Kralyevski the situation is a totally different.

First of all, Filip doesn't use transitional spring but cross roller linear bearing which in theory doesn't wear out and is much more precise as it's much smoother than spring.
Second, the high quality digital indicator (in my case Mitutoyo Absolute) guarantees the reading repetition and consistency.

The shape of the tension meter is based on Jobst Brandt design which is very comfortable in use. The wide section with two bearings on the edges helps to grab and set the spoke path which improves overall stability and readings consistency. 

Mitutoyo digital indicator is one of the best in the world. It's crazy fast, has rotatable display and couple of nice features such as Go/No Go function, peak mode and three presets options.

They way how I like to use it is at the end, when I'm equalising the spoke tension across all spokes I take one reading of a spoke which has the final tension, then switching to absolute reading mode and then reading all other spokes. In that way the tension meter displays the tension difference vs the "final tension". Knowing that 0.02 on the display is 0.5kgf I can easily check if I have consistent and equal tensions or some adjustment is needed.

It improves the overall time of the build and guarantees really high precision. 

Using blackcat wheels tension meter calibration jig I created my own tension chart so I know what values from Filip's device correspond to real tension in kgf.

Having such tension meter, calibration jig and spoke cutter I'm able to provide high class of wheel building.
All three tools, meaning tension meter, calibration jig and spoke cutter and significant investments, but it's still cheaper than wheels sent back for rework or unhappy customers. If you're about to deal with wheel building this is the only way to go.

Using the opportunity a small update on spoke tension meter calibration tool: all units from the first batch were sold out. I'm now collecting the order for next batch. If you're interested please drop me an email or place an order directly in the shop

If you want more details you can read the user guide of the tool or contact the others who purchased the calibration jig, for example sunny spokes or cognoscenti wheels

Of course you can always contact me directly in case you have further questions about the tool itself.

Thanks for reading


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